Omega 6 Benefits: Complete Guide to Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
- While including fat in your diet is often villainized, we actually need healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in order to function properly.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our brain health, growth, and metabolism, among other things, and they’re found in foods like nuts and seeds.
- Those aren’t the only fatty acids that you need: C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fat, supports mitochondrial function, bolsters red blood cell health and much more, and if you’re not getting it in your diet, you can supplement with fatty15.
The ideology surrounding fat and fat intake has been confusing at best. You have likely heard all of the following beliefs:
- “Fat is bad and causes cardiovascular disease, don’t include it in your diet.”
- “Actually, some fats are okay, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, be sure you get those fats in your diet.”
- “Fat isn’t as bad as we thought, it’s just saturated fat that is bad. Don’t include saturated fat in your diet.”
These are just a few of the statements you’ve probably been exposed to in the past few decades, and because of these statements, you probably have some pretty mixed up views about fat, what it is, and whether you should be including it in your diet. We think it’s time to help you understand about what is known about fats today.
A Brief History of Our Relationship with Fat
Before 1977, the American diet consisted largely of red meat and whole fat dairy products like full fat milk and butter. The problem, however, was that certain sects of the population (mostly older men) were dying from cardiovascular disease. In an effort to remedy this problem, the government issued dietary recommendations that included avoidance of fat, especially dairy fat. Unfortunately, a study from 2015 showed that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to support that removing fat from our diets would keep our hearts any healthier.
By the late 90s and early 2000s, the change in our diets was quantifiable in terms of the amount of dairy and fat we were not consuming compared to the lower fat products we were consuming, like skim milk and margarine. At the same time, we began to see a rise of diseases, normally reserved for older populations, in our kids (who incidentally weren’t consuming full fat dairy).
By the mid-2000s we saw a big push for more inclusion of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diets. Because of dietary guidelines in the 70s, we just weren’t getting enough.
Around the same time that a 2015 study started to debunk the fat/heart disease correlation, researchers began discovering that some saturated fats, specifically odd-chain saturated fats (like C15:0), were actually associated with good health benefits. In fact, one extensive 14-year study showed that people who ate more C15:0 had a lower overall mortality rate.
The most important takeaway is that we now know for certain that not all fats (including some saturated fats) are bad for us. In fact, they may be essential to our health.
What Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
The essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were first discovered by a husband and wife team more than 90 years ago. Their discovery led to research that these fatty acids were essential to our bodies on a cellular level. Our cells use the omegas to help support functioning cells.
While our bodies tend to need more omega-3 than omega-6, we usually find more omega-6 in our diets than omega-3. Both omega fatty acids play a crucial role in our brain health. In fact, the brain is made up of roughly 60% fat, so it’s important that we take in these fatty acids to support our brain’s health.
Omega-6 is beneficial to our bodies when consumed in proper proportions. When omega-6 is ingested, it helps the body in the following ways:
- Brain function. Omega-6 fatty acids play an essential role in healthy brain function, especially when coupled with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 6 helps support cognitive function.
- Growth and development. Omega-6 aids in proper growth and development, which is crucial to the diets of children.
- Hair and skin health. Omega-6 is thought to help promote healthier hair and skin. A lack of omega-6 in the diet can result in hair and skin that looks dull and is overall unhealthy.
- Bone and teeth health. Omega-6 works alongside calcium and Vitamin D to promote healthy bones and teeth. Your body needs both to keep your bones and teeth strong.
- Metabolism. Omega-6 is beneficial in helping support a healthy metabolism, which can also help support healthy weight.
Omega-6 fatty acids aren’t hard to find, but finding them in a natural food source is better for your overall health. Some of the best sources of omega-6 fatty acids are walnuts, tofu, hemp and sunflower seeds, peanut butter, avocado oil, eggs, almonds, and cashews. There are also supplements on the market that contain Omega-6.
What is C15:0?
While omega-6 is now recognized as a good unsaturated fat, research now supports that some saturated fats are good, too. In fact, one saturated fat that has been associated with positive health benefits is C15:0 (also called pentadecanoic acid). C15:0 is an odd-chain saturated fat found in whole dairy products like whole fat milk and full fat butter. It’s easy to see why we aren’t getting much (if any) of this in our diets, since we’ve been vilifying fat since the 1970s.
Science shows that C15:0 plays a crucial role in supporting cellular health and helping our cells fight against premature breakdown due to aging by:*†
- Helping to support cellular structure. C15:0 helps strengthen cell membranes and serves as armor for your cells to fortify their overall structural function.
- Boosting mitochondrial function. Your cells’ mitochondria are responsible for producing energy for the cell, which is essential for proper cell function. As we age, our mitochondria can become sluggish. C15:0 helps support mitochondrial health and function, keeping your cell’s powerplants properly working.
- Advancing cellular homeostasis. Part of aging means our immunity can become off-balance, and this usually starts at a cellular level. C15:0 promotes cellular health and calmer immunity, which can help bring your cells (and you) back into proper balance.
- Improving red blood cell health. Your red blood cells have an important job; they carry oxygen from your lungs to all other parts of your body. C15:0 helps keep your red blood cells healthy and ready for oxygen-delivery action.
- Supporting liver health. Your liver is one of your largest organs and a crucial part of your digestive system, but liver health can decline as we age. C15:0 is a fatty acid that helps support liver cells, thus supporting liver health and function, helping you maintain a healthy liver, for longer.
- Supporting metabolic health. Many functions in your body are controlled by your metabolism. Science backs that C15:0 can support your metabolism, including helping you maintain healthy glucose and cholesterol levels.
With all this good science behind it, you are likely ready to enjoy the benefits of C15:0. You may be concerned, however, about getting your C15:0 from whole fat milk and butter. Luckily, there’s a solution: fatty15.
Fatty15 contains FA15, a pure powder and vegan-friendly form of C15:0, available to you in a once daily capsule that is easy to take. Fatty15 is:
- Odorless and tasteless. No fishy smell or taste here!
- Vegan. No animals were harmed in the making of our supplement; in fact, if you read our story, you’ll see some animals were actually helped.
- Allergen free. Fatty15 contains only ingredient: FA15, a pure, powder form of C15:0. As such, our supplement contains no gluten, oils, corn, genetically modified organisms, fillers, or soy.
- Sustainable. Our top two priorities are your health and the Earth’s health, too. Our capsules come in a 90-day supply to cut down on packaging, shipping, and transport. When you receive your first order, you’ll receive a reusable glass bottle, so every time you get a new shipment in our eco-friendly packaging, you’ll simply use the same bottle. This eliminates the need for any plastics or trash. Even the bottle cap is crafted from bamboo, one of the fastest growing trees on the planet.
While all fats are no longer our enemy, we are having to learn how to be proactive in how we approach our healthy fat intake.
In addition to ensuring we get enough high-quality omega-6 fatty acids in our diet, we should also consider the inclusion of C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid with a growing body of science supporting it as the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 ninety years. Fatty15 daily supplements offer the benefits of C15:0 to help you give your cells a fighting chance, and help you age on your own terms.*
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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